Welcome to A Practical Guide to Wellness Accountability Challenge #2! You know I’ve been talking about making small changes – consistently – and how those small changes add up to HUGE results. Well, this challenge really is big, but I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. This challenge is big because we’re looking to not only move every day for 21 days, but we’re going to work on our mindset around that movement, too.
I spent most of my life at war with my body. I’m now finding love for a body I used to hate, and actually enjoy moving my body. It has become something sacred – just for myself.
Our journeys are going to look different – we all have different goals and different needs, but we can all use this framework to help us create forward movement in our lives. Momentum begets momentum. Small changes add up to huge results. I hope at the end of all of this, you find yourself, because there, you will find joy. Joy that no one can take away from you – no matter the circumstances.
The key to this is showing up for yourself every day. You’ve got to make the effort and do the work consistently to create the habit. I’ve got the accountability built in for you – we’re going to do this as a group. When other people know you’re committed to showing up for yourself, it makes you far more likely to do so. In my Facebook Group and on Instagram (@beautifulbalanced.life), you’ll find the daily accountability post. Leave a comment to let the group know you’re taking part in the challenge, and every day, come leave a comment to let us know how you did for the day. I’ll be there to offer encouragement and support. It all starts with deciding to show up for yourself in one small way every day.
Let’s get started!
Objective #2: Get Moving
Timeframe: 21 Days
Listen, we all know that exercise and movement is important. I’m not going to go into a huge amount of detail on exercise because at this point, we all know we need to be doing it. Exercise helps to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases, and gives us an outlet for stress while mitigating the physical symptoms of stress. It helps to slow down the aging process, and can even make you look younger – which, let’s face it – I’m pretty much all for that. Exercise gives you an immediate mood boost and can help to combat depression and anxiety. Of course it also helps keeps your body limber and toned, keeps your heart strong, keeps those joints moving as we get older and can help (along with a healthy diet) to keep our body at a healthy weight.
There are a few things to keep in mind here. I’m not saying you have to go join a gym or run straight to a HIIT class, and go nuts. (but if you want to, that’s great!) I just want you to get moving every day. Get your body working, your heart rate up a bit and work on your flexibility and strength.
I will be honest. I haven’t always loved exercising. Being at war with my body meant that I didn’t really put much care into how I treated it. I’ve had the food part down for years, but movement has been a struggle. Loving my body enough to move it every day is HUGE for me. Movement has become part of my daily routine. It typically happens first thing in the morning, but if it doesn’t, I make time to move my body during the day. It’s becoming something I enjoy and something my body craves. I’m still working on the consistency part, but this accountability group helps so much! I want you to know that I’m working on this objective right along with you, and working to create some new, more consistent habits when it comes to exercise and movement.
I mentioned that we’re also going to be working on mindset. Here’s what I mean by that: I know movement and exercise can be a struggle for so many different reasons. Yet, we all need to do it. Our human bodies, minds and souls need movement. As we go through the next 21 days of this challenge, I encourage you to start reframing your thoughts. Here are some examples:
“I’m so blessed that I am physically able to move today.”
“The more I move, the better my body feels.”
“By showing up for myself and moving my body, I’m showing my mind that I’m worth it.”
If you have physical limitations on movement for any reason (disability, illness, pain, etc.), then I encourage you to try your best to not validate those in your thoughts. In other words, try to give your brain the positive to think about.
“I’m so blessed to be able to listen to this music and tap my feet the beat.”
“My body feels so much better when I stretch.”
“Reaching up for the sky as far as I can reminds me I’m grounded firmly like a tree, stable in the storm.”
The mental aspect of movement is *almost* as important as the movement itself. It’s amazing the profound effects that this challenge can have on your mind, body and soul if you choose to show up for yourself and truly participate.
Here are some suggestions to get started:
- Set a goal for yourself for the next 21 days. This goal can be as general as just moving your body every day or you can set a goal for strength, flexibility, agility, or a certain exercise. It can be whatever resonates with you, but give yourself a goal.
- Come join us in the group for your daily accountability. Show yourself that you’re worth showing up for each day.
- Start each morning with some stretches and breathing exercises. Note: this is also a good way to end the day and prepare you for good sleep.
- Take a walk everyday. Start with a 10 minute walk, and work your way up to 45 minutes.
- Play with your kids. This can be as simple as getting down on the floor and playing with them, or going outside to play tag, kick a soccer ball or going to play at the park – but actually play at the park with them.
- Play with your dogs. Take them for a walk, run around outside with them…you get the idea.
- Find some good workout videos online. There are so many free options on YouTube, and inexpensive subscriptions online. Sometimes just being able to workout from home makes it so much easier than having to go to the gym or a class.
- If you love going to the gym or classes, that’s great! Make a schedule for yourself, and then stick to it.
- Get some small hand weights or a resistance band and do some reps a few times a day with them.
- Have a dance party! Turn on some music and dance around your living room. This is not only great exercise, it’s good for the soul!
I also know that if you’re dealing with chronic pain or illness or have a disability or other issues that movement can feel really big and really scary. I get it. I really do. I’ve been there myself. I know how chronic pain and illness get in the way of things we want to do. I want you to still commit to this challenge. Your movement may look different than mine, but it’s just as important for your body. Choose a couple of ways to move your body and then commit to showing up for yourself every day and see how it affects your body and your mind! I’ve got some ideas for you below:
- If you are confined to a bed or chair, then find ways to move the rest of your body. Play some music and get those hands and arms waving in the air or tap your feet to the beat. Start here and slowly increase small movements as you build strength.
- Take a short walk around your bedroom or living room.
- Try some gentle stretching or yoga to build strength and flexibility.
- If you aren’t used to standing up very much, then do a few reps where you just stand up, and then sit down. Do this slowly and engage your muscles the best you can.
- If you have a dog, play fetch with them. Throw that ball and let them bring it back.
These are just a few suggestions. There are so many ways you can incorporate even the smallest of movements. I know it feels overwhelming when you don’t feel good. I’m asking you to set aside the mental roadblocks and to decide to show up for yourself. Move your body. Give it a chance to work for you, instead of against you.
The most important thing is to find something you enjoy, and that works for you, and keep doing it!
Your Objective: For the next three weeks, focus on getting your body moving every day!
Make a plan for yourself, call a friend or two, recruit your spouse or significant other, and do this! Find ways to move every day – even if it’s not a full workout – just move!
Also be sure that you come to the group or IG page to leave your daily accountability in the comments. Remember that when you show up for yourself in the group, you’re really showing up for all of us. We all need support and encouragement to meet our goals!
Keep in mind that as you increase physical activity, you need to increase your water intake. If you need suggestions on how to drink more water, you can go back to Objective #1 and review.
Also note that if you have any type of heart condition, autoimmune issues or any health issues, follow the advice of your health provider. Listen to your body, and don’t overdo it with strenuous exercise. Just move as much, and as often, as your body will allow.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some of my favorite workout resources and tips in the Facebook group, so if you haven’t joined, be sure to click through and do so. I’ll also be posting my own exercise and updates in my Instagram stories, so follow me there, too!
Sign up for the email list to make sure you never miss an update or new objective!
Tell me: What is your favorite workout or exercise? How do you stay consistent?